University of Michigan


Since we switched to aqueous ozone, I’ve gotten better.  When I go home and my kids hug me, they say I don’t smell like chemicals anymore.  I call this a miracle.

Marin Yaseem, CustodianUniversity of MichiganSouth Quadrangle Residence Hall

Quick Facts

  • 43,000 students on campus
  • 580 buildings to clean
  • Football stadium is largest in North America

University of Michigan

“At the beginning, when I heard that our chemicals were being exchanged for aqueous ozone, I wondered just how could water clean like chemicals,” says Yaseem.  "I really didn’t like it when I first heard about it.”  The university’s facility maintenance team tested stabilized aqueous ozone as a safe and sustainable alternative to traditional chemicals to clean the residence halls’ bathrooms, common areas, study rooms and dining halls.

Yaseem soon learned that aqueous ozone isn’t just water; it is cold tap water, first stabilized through the removal of harsh minerals, then infused with ozone to become a safe, high-performing cleaner and sanitizer for use on virtually any hard surface.  Schools, hospitals, food service operations and more use SAO instead of chemicals for its simplicity, safety, and sustainability.

In fact, the innovative cleaning solution turned out to be so efficient and effective that the University of Michigan residence hall’s custodial team was awarded the President’s Staff Innovation Award for its work in switching from traditional chemicals to aqueous ozone.

“This aqueous ozone project is worthy of team recognition because it sits at the nexus of cost savings, environmental and health consciousness, productivity, and the leadership role that the University of Michigan plays in higher education,” says Loren Pullman, associate vice-president of student affairs. Pullman nominated the custodial group for the annual award.

University President, Mary Sue Coleman, personally chose the custodial team for the award and notes:  “This award celebrates the diverse culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and recognizes those whose creativity leads to better solutions to our challenges.”

Yaseem recalls, “When I came home, my daughter would say to me about the chemicals I used, ‘Mommy, if these things make you sick, why don’t you stop working?’  But I love my job and so I stayed and tried the aqueous ozone.  It works!”

Indeed, stabilized aqueous ozone helps the University of Michigan achieve campus sustainability goals, is healthier for students and staff, and saves $50,000 per year in operating costs by not having to purchase, manage, store, and dispose of traditional chemicals.

That’s True Bue.  And Green Clean.